This morning, I woke up much earlier than usual so that I would be ready when my mom arrived at 7:30 am to drive me to an appointment down at Albany Memorial Hospital. The name of the wonderful procedure I had done is a small bowel follow through to check out my terminal ileum. The quick explanation of this test goes as follows: you drink some barium and wait for it to move through your digestive tract so the radiologist can take x-rays of your small intestine. But that barely scratches the surface of the experience.
Per the instructions I was given, I did not eat or drink anything after midnight last night. This was very difficult for me, because I usually keep a beverage on my nightstand at bedtime due to the dry mouth I suffer from. Then I got up at an ungodly hour so my mom could battle morning rush hour traffic to get me to the hospital for my 8:15 check-in at patient registration. The procedure was scheduled for 8:30.
Despite my choice of clothing – only fabric, no metal, buttons, or other fasteners – I had to strip down to my underwear, socks, and shoes. I was given two hospital gowns. The first was meant to open in the back, while the second was to wear as a robe to provide some decency. Please take note of how fashionable I was in these gowns.
I got called in right around 8:30 so a technician could take my preliminary x-ray, lying on my back on the x-ray table. I was then asked to sit up and drink a cup of barium. “It’s unflavored,” I was warned. I opted to use a straw and joked that the reason they don’t let you eat or drink first is so you’re so thirsty you’ll drink anything. I was praised for looking on the bright side. Then I choked down a cup of the vile fluid and was told to lie down on the table again, this time on my stomach. This was my “zero minute” x-ray. Or maybe she said “minute zero.” It was one or the other.chronic illness, health